9 ways to wean a child off thumb sucking

Almost every parent can relate to the concern that arises when your toddler sucks his or her thumb or fingers. But, not to worry if you find in this situation as our 9 ways to wean a child off thumb sucking will provide you the much-needed solution.

Several studies have shown that thumb sucking can push the front teeth forward, causing them to stick out too much in relation to the teeth in the lower jaw.

It also can prevent the front teeth from coming together properly and can cause a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws.

Do try to limit the time that your child sucks his thumb: You need to let your child realize that thumb sucking isn’t meant to be done in public, explain to him or her that this is a bed activity instead, to be done during nap time and at night.

  • Don’t turn it into a confrontation: instead of criticising your child, praise him or her when he or she is not sucking his or her thumb instead and ensure you tell your child not to suck his or her thumb outside the four walls of your home. With time your child drop the habit.
  • Educate your child on the effects of finger sucking and help her understand why it’s necessary for her to stop sucking her finger. Children tend to listen especially when they are being told several times without number. Make it a priority to tell her about the effects of licking her finger and praise her when she’s not.
  • Don’t prohibit your child if he tries to suck his thumb or finger after being hurt of injured: According to Berman a family psychologist, “He needs to be in his comfort zone, and by not letting him go there, you’re only traumatizing him more. Let him suck at that point in time, you can always correct him later.
  • Do practice self-awareness with your child: He might just be sucking his thumb unconsciously and you may not know about that, so ask him questions like “do you know you are sucking your thumb”? If he says no, kindly help him recognize that he is actually sucking his thumb. If yes, please kindly caution him.
  • Don’t use nasty-tasting stuff that is marketed to stop thumb sucking and finger licking: Its actually unfair for you to rub any nasty cream or solution on your child’s thumb in order for him to stop licking his finger/sucking his thumb.
  • Come up with creative ways that you can use to help your child from sucking his thumb: You aware of the things she likes, you can always use those things in order to come up with creative ideas that can help stop her from sucking her thumb.
  • Don’t try a glove or a mitten on the hand as a quick-fi xto thumb or finger sucking: This will only frustrate them and cause more anxiety. Likely, they are old enough to take it off, they’ll keep sucking more instead.
  • DO remember that a child will grow out of the need for thumb sucking or finger licking: Have it at the back of your mind that a child will grow out of the habit of sucking his thumb, so be patient and also avoid harsh comments when you are addressing him/her about sucking his/her thumb.
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